The Nigerian Voters Assembly (VOTAS) has said that the recent ruling of the Taraba State election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja, will deepen the nation’s democracy.
The tribunal had declared Senator Aisha Alhassan winner of the April 11 election and ordered the removal the Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku.
President of the group, Comrade Mashood Erubami, said the tribunal ruling validating Senator Aisha Alhassan as governor-elect of Taraba is in consonant with best standards and conforms with the Electoral Act.
“It is heart warming and timely, coming at a time when Nigerians are looking up to the judiciary to confirm its place among nations upholding the rule of law. It is worthy of note that the judgement trailed other judgements that reversed elections results to rightful winners against those that INEC had earlier declared as witnessed in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States”, he said.
He added: “The number and nature of elections results upheld and reversed is a confirmation that there is new re-orientation among the judges and lots of them are now judging according to law and their consciences. The judgement so far has shown that some of the judgements of the past were not independently delivered and that not all those who were declared winners deserved it”.
Erubami said the judgement affirmed the need for political parties to always adhere to the provisions of the Electoral Act and also revealed that INEC did not perform its duty in respect of party nomination and sponsorship of candidate.
“It INEC had done its job, the sacked governor should have been stopped before the election on the basis of qualification as enshrined in Section 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act. The judgement cleared all doubts and was not in my opinion shrouded in any mysterious declaration that can stand against it at the Appeal, more so, when the issues of jurisdiction and petitioner locus standi have been dismissed by the tribunal at the early stage before the judgement.”